LATEST 20 March 2020 9.00am
Update regarding Foodbank. Many people are anxious that there continues to be a way of donating supplies to the Foodbank. We will still be collecting from the foyer and delivering to Clevedon on a weekly basis, and we suggest the following:
- If you are a keyholder, you can place your food donations in the foyer at your convenience during the week.
- You could give your donations to someone who is a keyholder and who is willing to deliver them for you.
- You could bring the donations on Monday between 10.00am and 12noon when the church will be open.
LATEST 20 March 2020 8.00am
A copy of Jill’s Pastoral Letter of 17th March
I write at a time of great uncertainty for us as individuals, as a church, as a community and beyond. The Covid 19 virus is now sweeping our nation, just as it is the rest of the world, and we all need to take measures to limit its impact.
The Leadership Team at the church and I are working on your behalf to ensure that you are kept up to date with recommendations from the Methodist Church nationally, and that your pastoral and worship needs are at the forefront of all that we do. All decisions that we make will be made according to Government and Methodist Church guidelines.
In the light of Government guidelines on Monday 16th March, the National Methodist Church has suspended all Sunday Services and acts of worship for the foreseeable future, effective immediately. The Passover Meal, scheduled for Tuesday 7th April, the Holy Week Meditations and the Easter Sunday Breakfast have also been cancelled.
With this letter you will receive a booklet with daily prayers to be used over this extended period of disruption. We suggest that each day, before or after your evening meal, you stop and pray the prayer for the day, knowing that you then will be joining with the rest of the congregation at a similar time, in prayer.
I will be doing a live video link every Sunday at 11am from the church, with a prayer, Bible Reading and short thought for the day, that can be accessed on line for those with suitable technology. Details of how to find the link will follow via email, WhatsApp and Facebook.
Services on Radio 4 and Radio Bristol can be tuned into and other live link services can be accessed on line, as well, of course, as Songs of Praise on the BBC.
If anyone would like a book of daily readings and devotions, please let me know by phone or email, and we will get one to you as soon as possible.
We aim to have the church open for private prayer, initially every Monday 10am – 12pm, and I will be available at the church for anyone who wishes to have a chat with me. There may be other days that it will be open – details to follow.
The government has given the recommendation that all those over 70, or who are vulnerable should self isolate for an extended period. We realise that this can cause huge distress, worry and loneliness. We will be asking all Pastoral Visitors to ring those on their lists weekly, and I will be ringing weekly also. We will also be setting up a helpline, to arrange for a volunteer to contact you if any of you need groceries, a prescription picking up, or even just a friendly voice to chat to.
The phone, during this period, will be our friend. Please don’t just leave it to the Pastoral Visitors to ring around, if you have a few minutes, look in the directory and ring someone who is shut in. If you are able to get out and about, and have friends living near you, please check in with them regularly to see if they need anything.
We are called not just to care about our own members, but also the wider community. It has been wonderful to see how the community is already coming together, with Counsellor Steve Bridger and others co-ordinating a village response. Several of us have volunteered with this scheme individually, but we are also liaising with Steve and his team as a church – as are the other churches. One of the wonderful things being done in the village is that a group of people will be making over 1000 meals a week, from the Butchers Arms, to give away free to the elderly and vulnerable. Details of where to access this will follow soon.
At Yatton Methodist Church, we are in discussions at the moment to host an ‘outpost’ of the Foodbank, to help those most in need. Again, details to follow.
Staying in Touch
We will do everything that we can to keep you up to date with events that, at this point in time, can easily change daily.
If you have a computer or smart-phone, would you please consider:
– giving us your email address, if it isn’t already in the church directory, so that we can contact you that way
– joining the Facebook YMC Church Folk Group
– joining our church What’s App group, if you have a smartphone – contact us if you wish to do that.
Information for church members will also be put out on the church’s Facebook group and the church’s website, www.ymcmembers.info
If you do not have any access to technology, please give me a ring, and we’ll make sure a newsletter is popped through your door.
I realise all of this is a lot to take in, and that we will need to be prepared to do church very differently over the coming months and to be patient with each other. We will not get everything right, but we ask you to bear with us as we seek to continue to shine God’s light into this situation, and to remember that God is with us and He will see us through.
With love and prayers,
Rev Jill Flowers
18 March 2020 8.00am
With regret we confirm that all activities and events, including Sunday worship services, are cancelled until further notice, in accordance with nation Government and Methodist advice.
As a priority, we are working to ensure that we are able to continue to love and care for each other, and to find ways of sharing together in worship through technology.
Every member and regular worshipper will shortly receive an written update from Jill, and further news will appear here at regular intervals. So please keep checking for new information. Thank you for your patience.